This is how you end a great season of television. Supernatural’s sixth season comes to a terrifying end as everyone feels the consequences of the the war in heaven.
SUPERNATURAL Review: Season 6
episodes 21 & 22
“Let it Bleed”
“The Man Who Knew Too Much”
Bobby finds out through his typical masterful research methods that the door to purgatory has been opened before, by no other than legendary horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. While trying to find out how Lovecraft died, Dean gets a panicked call from Ben, who still has him on speed dial. There are people in the house and they have already killed Lisa’s boyfriend. Dean goes into instant hunter mode and gives Ben a list of instructions. (By the way, it was a nice touch to have Ben reading the Cthulhu comic books). However, Ben is unable to get away before the demons grab him. Instead, Crowley gets on the phone and warns Dean to stay away from them or he will kill Lisa and Ben.
Crowley: “Your chocolate has been in my peanut butter for far too long.”
Dean: “I’m going to kill you.”
Crowley: “…I’ve got your uh, what are they? Ex lady friend and not kid and I’m keeping them until I’m satisfied that you back the hell off.”
Dean: “I’m telling you…last chance to let them go easy.”
Crowley: “You’re adorable when you get all threatening. Don’t worry, I won’t hurt them, provided you and jolly green stand down. Got it? Splendid. Kisses.”
I am always very impressed with the cinematography of this show in moments like this, when everyone is holding their breath. I could be wrong, but kudos to Jensen Ackles for that scene because his whole conversation with Crowley was one circling shot. I don’t know how many times they had to shoot it, but hearing and reading a number of stories from behind the scenes when Jensen is filming emotionally intense scenes, I would gather that it didn’t take many.
Dean refuses to leave his surrogate family under Crowley’s care, so they send Bobby off to search for Lovecraft as he and Sam track down Crowley. They call Balthazar and ask him if he knew about Castiel’s deal with Crowley. He does, but did not know about their deal to split the souls of purgatory. He runs off back to Castiel. While Dean falls back to the torturing methods that he learned in Hell, Bobby finds out that Lovecraft was in a cult and that they opened the door by accident.
Drunk on rage and alcohol, Dean makes his way through demon after demon, refusing to stop even after Sam pleads with him. Obviously, Dean sees all of this as his fault. How could he not? He is the reason that Ben and Lisa were introduced the monsters of the world in the first place back in Season 3, despite the fact that it couldn’t be helped because they both would have been killed if Dean hadn’t saved them. And after living with them for as long as he did, of course he considers them as family. He has told Lisa himself that even though he is not Ben’s real father, he thinks of himself that way. However, I think that part of his guilt lays on the fact that Dean has truly become his father, something he admitted that he never wanted to be. Ben hero worships Dean, just like Dean did with John. That above all else, I think frightens him the most. He will do anything to keep Ben from becoming like him, and seeing his mother or Dean get hurt or possibly killed by demons is definitely something that will drive Ben into the world of hunters, and he has to stop that from happening.
Understanding that there was no one else that they could turn to, and despite their recent history, Sam takes a desperate step.
Sam: “Castiel, it’s Sam. So look, I don’t know if you are in on this whole Ben Lisa thing, but if you have any heart whatsoever, bring them back to us, man. Come on, please. I’m begging you. I am begging you, do you understand?”
Although this episode obviously focuses on Dean, I think this was a huge leap of faith for Sam. He just found out that Castiel was the one that pulled him from Hell. And although Castiel swears leaving his soul in Hell was an accident, Sam has plenty of reasons not to trust him. Still considering himself the Winchesters guardian, Castiel listens, but does not appear to him. However, anyone could read it in his face that he desperately wanted to show himself. Instead, he decides to confront Crowley. Although Castiel can’t help but agree with Crowley’s distraction, he demands to know where they are, threatening the demon if he harms them. Castiel doesn’t have the chance to really make his threat stick before Balthazar calls him to talk.
His lieutenant directly confronts him about his deal with Crowley, of which, Castiel lies. Obviously, Balthazar doesn’t like his leader’s plan at all. Of course Castiel has no intention of giving any souls to Crowley, and plans to take them all within himself so he can defeat Raphael. But Balthazar is worried about the consequences, especially if Castiel cannot hold all the souls in control without them going nuclear.
While Dean and Sam are still trying to track down Ben and Lisa, Bobby makes a breakthrough in finding out what happened the night Lovecraft opened the door to purgatory. Apparently, Eve was not the first thing to crawl through the door and he knows exactly where to find her. His old friend Ellie, is not as human as she set herself up to be. She came into this world thanks to Lovecraft and his cult, and proceeded take possession of a human woman and killed all of those responsible for opening the door.
Dean gets clumsy while interrogating a demon and unknowably breaks the devil’s trap holding him in place. The demon throws him against a van, and holds him in a death grip, before Castiel shows up and smites the black eyed devil, much to Dean’s surprise or dismay. I still can’t decide if Dean was surprised or even more pissed that Castiel saved him. For a moment, it looked like he was guilty for ever questioning Castiel’s loyalties. But then, the rage returned to his face. No one betrays Dean Winchester and gets forgiven that easily.
Castiel: “I thought you said that we were like family? Well, I think that too. Shouldn’t trust run both ways?”
Dean: “Cas, I just can’t.”
Castiel: “Dean, I do everything that you ask. I always come when you call. And I am your friend. Still. Despite your lack of faith in me and now your threats. I just saved you, yet again. Has anyone but your closest kin ever done more for you? All I ask is this one thing.”
Dean: “Trust your plan to pop purgatory?”
Castiel: “I’ve earned that, Dean. I came to tell you that I will find Lisa and Ben and I will bring them back. Stand behind me the one time I ask.”
Dean: “You’re asking me to stand down? That’s the same damn ransom note that Crowley handed me. You know that right? Well, no thanks. I’ll find them myself.”
There has been much talk throughout the fandom this season about how grateful the Winchesters should be for Castiel and all he does for them. However, there seems to be a constant refusal on Sam and Dean’s part to thank him. And seeing Castiel once again saving Dean from one of his own slip up’s and knowing that even though he feels betrayed the angel continues to watch over him, was yet another reason for the fans to be disappointed in Dean. I know I wanted to slap some sense into him at this point, but then again, I can’t help but to also agree with the Winchesters on this one. Dean and Sam have reason to distrust Castiel, and yet, Castiel has done quite enough to earn their loyalty and their trust.
Bobby finds Ellie hiding out in the middle of the woods and confronts her about her true nature. She has spent every moment since arriving to try and keep the door to purgatory closed. That is exactly why she decided to help the Winchesters earlier in the season, to stop the dragons from bringing Eve through the door. Bobby pleads with her to share the secrets of opening the door, especially since Castiel will find her eventually. She refuses his help.
Meanwhile, Balthazar arrives to Bobby’s house to let Sam and Dean in on some news.
Balthazar: “I’m officially on your team… you bastards.”
He has found where Crowley is hiding Lisa and Ben, but can only get the Winchesters close because the demon as completely angel proofed the whole building. Balthazar zaps them into the area and the Winchesters finally get to do their thing when someone they care about is in trouble. After getting into the building they separate and Sam gets knocked out, but Dean is still on the prowl. He gets to the room where they are holding Ben and Lisa and releases them. And it figures as always, that Dean forgets the number one rule before cutting them loose. He should have tested them with holy water first.
The following scene was a remarkable performance by Cindy Sampson, who portrays Lisa. Having been possessed by a demon, it takes the knife from Dean, holding it to Ben’s throat. Then, it does what demon’s do best. It taunts and makes Dean doubt his resolve, while trying to insure Ben that everything would be okay. Dean splashes her face with holy water, distracting her just enough to let go of Ben and Dean able to get the knife out of her hand. Dean begins the exorcism chant, but not before the demon gives Lisa’s body a fatal stab wound. Evident pain on his face, Dean finishes the chant and the demon smokes out, leaving Lisa to die in her own body. Dean transfers instantly in survival mode. (But let’s not passover the face that Dean calls her “honey” in this scene. That made my heart hurt just that much more in this scene.)
Ben has been there when the Winchesters have dealt with monsters, but that has never included his mother dying before his eyes. Dean has to slap him to get him to focus, once again giving him a list of instructions. As Dean carries Lisa out, he has to rely on Ben to fend them off from any leftover demons. The teenager is armed with a salt gun and the knife and they walk out of the building. Dean instructs him how to shoot the shotgun and watches as he fires at his first demon. There was a lot of in this episode that paralleled the first two episodes of the season nicely. During episode two of this season, “Two and a Half Men”, Dean catches Ben poking through his weapon stash and swears to him that he will never learn how to shoot a gun.
They get Lisa to a hospital, but there is only so much they can do. She is not going to survive. Ben walks out on Dean as Castiel arrives and he doesn’t take too kindly to his presence.
Dean: “What do you want me to say? She’ll be dead by midnight.”
Castiel: “I’m sorry.”
Dean: “I don’t care. It’s too little too late.”
Castiel: “Okay. Well, regardless, I didn’t come for you.”
Castiel: *heals Lisa* “She’s fine now. She’ll wake soon. Dean, I said I’m sorry and I meant it.”
Dean: “Thank you. I wish this changed anything.”
Castiel: “I know. So do I. All else aside, I just wanted to fix what I could.”
Dean: “There’s one more thing you can do for me.”
The whole fandom screamed in satisfaction when Dean Winchester was finally able to say thank you to Castiel. However, this moment of happiness is very short lived when we find out what exactly Dean wanted Castiel to do, which was erase all of Lisa and Ben’s memories of him, and we are assuming of the truth. The whole fandom has been holding their breaths expecting as least Lisa to die in this episode, if not Ben as well. But watching Dean say a final goodbye to two people that don’t even remember him was far more painful to watch. I don’t think the only reason he decided to do this was not just to keep them safe, but also because he is terrified that he’s become his dad. Dean told Lisa in the season premiere of this season, “Exile on Main Street”, that it was the last thing he wanted to happen, but it has.
Dean doesn’t want them to share in the responsibility of knowing the truth, like him and Sam. There is no doubt that eventually, they would have become far too involved, and Ben may have become their progeny. That is the last thing that he wants to happen. Although I believe Dean may have made a wrong choice, there is no doubt he has the best intentions. He wants them to have a life that we will never have, even though he tried. Sam tries to talk to his brother, but Dean literally threatens to break his nose if he ever says Lisa and Ben’s names again. Two seasons ago, Sam would have forced the feelings from him. But they have both been doing a little growing up over the last few years, and Sam decides to leave it alone, even if he does understand what it’s like to have no memories more than Dean ever will.
Personally, I don’t think this is the last time we will see Lisa and Ben. They can still be used as leverage, and erasing their memories only makes them more vulnerable. Now, they will not even have a chance to call Dean for help. Although his intentions were good, I don’t think Dean thought this through, and Sam agrees.
And so begins part 2 of the finale: “The Man Who Knew Too Much.”
As always, the finale begins with the The Road So Far and “Carry On My Wayward Son” recap for the season. No matter how many times I watch the episodes, the end of the season recaps always leave me in awe at how perfect this song is for the story of the Winchesters. The episode jumps into the middle of the action with Sam running from the cops, finding shelter in a bar and not remembering anything beyond a few minutes before. Not even his name. He will remember only little tidbits at a time, and eventually, remembers something important.
Dean, Sam and Bobby tracked Ellie down, into an empty alley, where Crowley left her to die. They needed the blood of a native from purgatory to open the door. And now they only have until tomorrow night to stop them. Castiel arrives, to give them one last warning that they refuse to heed.
Castiel: “Enough! I don’t care what you think. I’ve tried to make you understand, you won’t listen. So let me make this simple. Please, go home and let me stop Raphael. I won’t ask again.”
Dean: “Well good, because I think you already know the answer.”
Castiel: “I wish it hadn’t come to this. Well, rest assured, when this is all over I will save Sam, but only if you stand down.”
Castiel touches Sam’s head, and we all realize what is going on. Sam hasn’t lost his memory. He is inside his own head, and the wall that Death built to protect Sam from the memories of Hell is gone. Castiel knew this would be the only thing that keeps Dean Winchester off his back as they finish their plan. And it worked, at least for a while.
In his head, Sam is being pursued by another copy of himself and decides to flee to Bobby’s where he may find some answers. But he only runs into himself again. And we realize that it is not just another copy, but actually Soulless Sam that walked around in his body for over a year.
Soulless Sam: “I’m not handicapped. I’m not saddled with a soul. In fact, I used to be skipper of this meat boat for a while. It was smooth sailing. I was sharp. Strong. That is, until they crammed your soul back in. Now look at you, same misty eyed mug sup you always were. That’s because souls are weak. They’re a liability.”
Soulless Sam tries to kill him because only one piece of Sam Winchester can run the body. Sam is able to trick his Soulless self and kills him first, and the two pieces of his memory merge together. Sam finally remembers everything that he did without a soul. Now, he just has to find the final piece before he can wake up. Meanwhile, Balthazar tells Dean and Bobby where Crowley and Castiel plan to pop the door to purgatory, but can do nothing else to help them. He is risking his very existence just by telling them where to go.
Not surprisingly, as soon as Castiel has everything he needs from Crowley, he betrays him.
Castiel: “I’m renegotiating our terms.”
Crowley: “Is that so? What terms do you propose?”
Castiel: “You get nothing. Not one single soul.”
Crowley: “Kind of noticed, seems a bit unfairly weighted. Castiel, you wouldn’t dare. I brought you this deal.”
Castiel: “You think I’m handing all that power to the King of Hell? I’m neither stupid nor wicked.”
Crowley: “Unbelievable. Have you forgotten that you’re the bottom of this relationship?”
Castiel: “Here are your options. You either flee, or you die.”
Crowley: “We made a pact. Even I don’t break contracts like this.”
Castiel: “Flee or die.”
Being the self preserving bastard that he is, Crowley flees. Dean and Bobby pack their bags and have no choice but to leave Sam behind as they go stop Castiel, but not before they leave a note on their whereabouts. Meanwhile in his head, Sam meets the part of him that remembers Hell. (And can I just say the lighting in this scene was just gorgeous.)
Sam: “What happened in the cage?”
Hell Sam: “Trust me, you don’t want to know it.”
Sam: “You’re right, but I still have to.”
Hell Sam: “Sam, you can’t imagine. Stay here. Go back. Find that bartender, go find Jess, but don’t do this. I know you. You’re not strong enough.”
Sam: “We’ll just have to see.”
Hell Sam: “Why is this so important to you?”
Sam: “You know me. You know why. I’m not leaving my brother alone out there.”
Once again, the Winchesters realize that they don’t know how to be themselves without the other. Sam has no choice. Hell Sam let’s Sam kill him to put the final piece together and his body starts seizing on the cot inside Bobby’s safe room.
Castiel calls Balthazar, letting him know they there is a traitor among them, and that someone told Dean Winchester where they are. It is clear by his face, that Castiel has completely given up on anyone else having faith in him. Before a couple years before, Castiel never put so much faith in humans as he did in the Winchesters. Them leaving him alone as they have, has hurt him than one of his own brothers betraying him. By now, he is used to angels betraying him. But after all he has learned and done with and for the Winchesters, they’re betrayal hurt most of all.
Castiel: “First Sam and Dean and now this. I’m doing my best. In impossible circumstances. My friends, they abandon me, plot against me. It’s difficult to understand.”
At this point his resolve has gone, and the only thing that keeps him fulfilling the plan is that this has always been the plan. In a surprising move, Castiel stabs Balthazar, apparently killing him. However, this show has a trend of showing an angel’s wings after they die, which is not something they did when Balthazar apparently died. The only other time this happened was when Kali supposedly killed Gabriel. So, there are many of us that believe Balthazar is not dead after all.
Dean and Bobby arrive just as a cloud of demons flip over the Impala to attack the angels protecting Castiel. There was definitely a scream heard around the world as once again, we had to watch the Impala get pounded for the second time during this series. Crowley demands the blood from Castiel, along with his new partner, Raphael. Castiel flees in a hurry. Dean and Bobby wake up in the overturned Impala and make their way inside. Crowley and Raphael are already in the middle of the ritual when Dean attempts to stab the archangel, failing. Crowley finishes the chant…and nothing. It didn’t work. Castiel returns and informs them they used the wrong blood.
Sam stumbles passed the Impala heading towards the building as we realize Castiel has already performed the ritual and taken the millions of souls within his being. Crowley exits, leaving Raphael along against his little brother, who snaps him to bits, leaving tiny pieces on the walls. I can not tell you how satisfying it was to watch Raphael’s demise. But that satisfaction was very short lived when Castiel’s voice changed (I’m sure much to Misha Collins’ glee) and he was no longer the angel that we knew, who didn’t want to give up his new found power.
Dean: “Listen to me. Listen. I know there’s a lot of bad water under the bridge, but we were family once. I’d a died for you. I almost did a few times. So if that means anything to you, please… I’ve lost Lisa, I’ve lost Ben, and now I’ve lost Sam. Don’t make me lose you too. You don’t need this kind of juice anymore, Cas. Get rid of it before it kills us all.”
Castiel: “You’re just saying that because I won. Because you’re afraid. You’re not my family, Dean. I have no family.” *Sam stabs Castiel* “I’m glad you made it, Sam. But the angel blade won’t work. Because I’m not an angel anymore. I’m your new god. A better one. So you will bow down and profess your love unto me, your lord, or I shall destroy you.”
And so begins the cliffhanger that Eric Kripke warned us about at Paley Fest in March. With Raphael gone and Crowley lost in the deal, the war in heaven is technically over. That is, until Castiel decides what he wants to do with Raphael’s followers. Surely, not all the angels will be bowing down to the new God Castiel, which may begin yet another war. Of course, the Winchesters won’t stand for this, but what can they possibly do alone to stop him if not even an angel blade can stop him now. Will this new Castiel be the villain next season?
I think so, if you can call him a villain. It is just going to be another storyline of dealing with the consequences of making a deal. We have watched Dean, Sam and Bobby do it. Now it was Castiel’s turn. The real Castiel may still be buried in there somewhere, but through his grief and abandonment, the other souls were able to scramble his brain. At least, that is wishful thinking. It is either this is the real Castiel and he has become like one of his douchebag brothers, only more powerful, or the real Castiel is still in there somewhere, and the other souls have just completely overwhelmed him.
Many fans were upset by this ending, especially after hearing that Misha Collins will not be a regular cast member next season. However, he wasn’t a regular cast member in season four, and look how many episodes he was in. In retrospect, he was barely in the first half of this season, and considered a regular cast member. We all need to step back and take a deep breath. Of course this storyline is terrifying. No one wants to see Castiel go dark side. However, it is a direction we have yet to see his character go, and I’m excited to see what is in store for season seven. With Sam having to find some way to deal with his memories of Hell, and I’m sure Dean will refuse to give up on getting the real Castiel back, I’m sure the next season is going to be one hell of a ride. Not to mention kind of crazy episodes the writers will come up with next. Who else wants to see a musical episode? Raise your hands!
Overall, another great season for a great series. Soulless Sam. BAMF Castiel. Balthazar. More Crowley. Fairies. Dragons. The meta episode. The Old West. And now God Castiel. I think the writers have given us plenty to think about before another roller coaster of a season begins.
Written by Candace Wilson. Find her on Twitter @J2sCandy and on Tumblr at www.jaxthevampire.tumblr.com. And be sure to look out for news and updates on the 7th season of Supernatural, especially for her report on Comic Con 2011!